DDoS has been around for over twenty years. Back then, Telecom companies introduced very expensive services to protect against it, but nobody bought them. DDoS threats and actions never seemed to rise to the level that warranted the extra level of expense, so they got shelved. Until now, as DDoS becomes a potent weapon in the extortionists’ arsenal.
As everyone knows, the latest hugely hyped tech darling is ChatGPT. On the first Monday in November, they were hit with a DDoS attack. Their service was unavailable for a while as they scrambled to mitigate the issue. Eventually it was restored, and responsibility for the attack was claimed by a fringe religious group that objected to the perceived bias of ChatGPT in the conflict in and around Gaza.
A couple of facts about DDoS are important to understand. Anyone can buy a DDoS attack against anyone else for just a few dollars. Without appropriate protection, a sustained DDoS attack will cripple a business for as long as the attack is sustained, which can be hours, days or even weeks.
So, what is DDoS? Distilled down to its basic form, it is a bombardment of an IP address by worthless bot-driven Internet traffic that effectively prevents any legitimate traffic coming from or going to that IP address.
The only way to protect against DDoS attacks is to subscribe to a service with an Internet carrier that detects the fingerprints of an attack and mitigates it before it reaches its intended target. Little has changed in over twenty years, and the cost of a service to mitigate an attack is still very high. What has changed is that DDoS attacks are becoming much more prevalent.
Reasons for attacks vary. Some attacks are political; perhaps a company has funded a political candidate, or perhaps they have refused to. The reason could be because of a perceived corporate bias such as in the ChatGPT example. In one real-world example, a DDoS attack was launched because the target had successfully fought off a ransomware attack, and the extortionists launched the attack in revenge. The reasons are myriad. They defy logic or rationality, but they are no less real and no less damaging.
Data Holdings offers an anti-DDoS service. Because we have so many customers, we buy a service and resell it to our customers, for far less than they would be able to buy the service for themselves. We see this not only as a way for us to provide a differentiated service to our customers that encourages the use of our data center facilities versus self-hosting, but also it is a vital service we can provide to companies that they would otherwise be unable to afford.
If you would like to learn more about DDoS and how to protect yourself against it, please feel free to contact us and we’d be happy to have a conversation with you. Anything we can do to help make the IT world a safer and more sensible place is our goal.